Students celebrate King’s dream

With hearts filled with pride and voices shouting exclamations of freedom and celebration, an energetic gathering of local students performed during the Martin Luther King Day Jamboree staged Monday at Anoka Middle School for the Arts.

Performing a sound track from “Nelly Just a Dream,” Anoka Middle School for the Arts students Symia Pinney, Breanna Buckhalton and Danielle Abraham celebrate Martin Luther King’s dream. Photo by Sue Austreng

Performing a sound track from “Nelly Just a Dream,” Anoka Middle School for the Arts students Symia Pinney, Breanna Buckhalton and Danielle Abraham celebrate Martin Luther King’s dream. Photo by Sue Austreng

Putting their passion for equality and their embrace of diversity into action students rapped and sang, spoke and recited celebratory expressions of Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream.

“We hold these words to be true – that all men are created equal,” said Champlin Park High School student-turned-MLK Day Jamboree emcee Ameen Everet, echoing the Declaration of Independence and introducing fellow Anoka-Hennepin School District students to the stage.

Students representing Anoka Middle School for the Arts, Northdale Middle School, Coon Rapids High School, Jackson Middle School and Champlin Park High School took the stage. Some performed as singing groups, some as poets, some as duets or trios, some as soloists – and all eagerly expressing their celebration of King’s dream.

This is the second MLK Day Jamboree staged in District 11.

Edwin Grant, a student learning advocate at Anoka Middle School for the Arts, said the decision was made last year for the school district to host its own program because staff wanted Anoka-Hennepin students to take more ownership in Martin Luther King Jr. Day for a better learning experience.

“Also we have very talented students that are always willing to showcase that talent so we wanted to provide another outlet for them to do that,” Grant said last year.

Turns out, talent is alive and well and took the stage with joy-filled energy and pride during Monday’s Jamboree.

“This is a great day. This is legendary,” student emcee Everet said as the jamboree came to a close Monday afternoon.

“We have a lot of talent here and we need to really motivate them to do more. I feel like we’ve got a lot of talent we can still discover. Let’s do it.”

Sue Austreng is at sue.austreng@ecm-inc.com

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